More than 1,000 Liberty University students, employees either in or instructed to quarantine

Information as of Sept. 16 from the university’s COVID-19 dashboard

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty University released information on its COVID-19 dashboard Wednesday that shows a large amount of the campus population in quarantine.

According to the dashboard, the university has 1,118 students and employees who are either in quarantine or have been instructed to quarantine.

Here’s the breakdown of the 1,118 people in quarantine:

  • 487 on-campus students in quarantine
  • 492 commuters instructed to quarantine
  • 139 employees instructed to quarantine

The university also shared that it has 141 total active cases reported in the last 14 days as some quarantine periods haven’t ended.

Here’s the breakdown of the 141 active cases:

  • 137 active student cases
  • 4 active faculty/staff cases

As of Wednesday, there are currently 184 positive cases at Liberty University. The University said Wednesday it does not intend to discipline students not following the campus pandemic regulations.

“We don’t want to wait until the problem is so detrimental that we have to do something, but we’re monitoring it daily,” Liberty University COVID19 Task Force Leader Dr. Keith Anderson said. “Rather than being punitive, we teach people how to make better decisions. So if one is found making poor decisions, we look for an opportunity to educate them.”

Students like senior Drew Lemay say there might not be much need as his peers seem to be following the rules.

“Honestly I’m just happy to be back first of all in person, for the most part everyone’s been following the rules like all my classes we’re all wearing my masks," Lemay said.

On-campus students that have tested positive are isolated at the annex, a few miles from campus. 10 News stopped by on Wednesday evening around dinner time to see a number of students in the parking lot, on balconies and walking around. Most were distanced and face masks were worn.

The other few hundred on-campus students who are just exposures are staying in their rooms if possible and do not have to share a communal bathroom.

“When you tell someone, you’re quarantining and you must stay to yourself, you have to overcome that natural tendency to be in community and be social," Anderson said.

Liberty said if they get to 5% positivity, or the annex fills up its 500 beds, they’ll go fully virtual. Right now the annex is less than half full and overall positivity is around 1%.

But Anderson believes the University is doing everything it can to keep students and the greater Lynchburg area safe.

“I’m overwhelmingly confident that we’re doing the best we can and we’re following market trends in terms of higher education as well as health trends," Anderson said.

About the Authors

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.